Las Vegas

Recovering addicts, families gather to spread awareness on International Overdose Awareness Day

LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– Dozens gathered Wednesday to break down the partitions of substance abuse and honor the lives lost on International Drug Overdose Awareness Day. 

“Recovery is a thesaurus,” recovering addict Paul Vautrinot stated. “It’s not a dictionary.”

Powerful phrases had been spoken by those that have seen the worst and began over. 

“I lived in the flood channels for a little bit,” George, a recovering addict recalled. “I’ve seen friends of mine overdose down there.”

People in long run recovery, who’ve was advocates stood up to share their journeys whereas additionally honoring the lives lost on International Overdose Awareness Day. 

“As much as I encourage the participation of the solution,” Vautrinot, who can be the director of Shine A Light, stated. “The one thing I know, is I participated in the problem.”

A show of sneakers in a “soles for souls” exhibit, represented the 619 individuals who died of drug overdoses in Clark County in 2021, with almost 60% being opioid associated. 

“It’s about meeting people where they are,” Chris Reynolds, Executive Director of Southern Nevada Health Consortium stated. “And helping them reduce harm associated with substance abuse.”

Reynolds informed 8 News Now he hopes gatherings like this assist extra individuals come ahead and ask for assist. 

“Once we can break that stigma and be able to talk to people about an issue,” Reynolds defined. “As if it’s an everyday issue, we will make leaps and bounds forward.”

Meanwhile, those that have been by dependancy hope their tales assist others transfer ahead and select sobriety. 

“I would have sold myself short on the life that I had,” George stated. “If I would have got what I wanted when I first got sober.”

“This isn’t a war on drugs, this is about saving our people,” Vautrinot concluded. “This is about honoring this experience.”

According to the Southern Nevada Harm Reduction Alliance, drug overdose deaths are up 48% from 2019. 

For extra data on Nevada’s recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, go to this http://nvoverdoseday.com/

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